So the EU budget rebate is at risk

In the endless referendum debates and interviews about the money I always stressed that the £350 m was an accurate official figure for the gross amount. I also quoted the various  net amounts if they were relevant to the specific question.

Quite often Remain speakers claimed we do not send the gross amount, but retain the rebate at home. We have further confirmation from the EU that we do send the gross amount and have to reclaim the rebate later. Now there are stories that the EU will not pay the last rebate owing. In that case we should only send the contribution net of estimated rebate.

We also read that the EU thinks we should accept some  future liability for Ukrainian loans from the EU. This reveals an interesting EU worry. EU policy towards the Ukraine has been problematic. The wide ranging Association Agreement was part of the reason for political change in Ukraine which led to the loss of Crimea and to a bitter civil war which damaged the economy. The EU and the IMF were drawn into offering substantial financial support for the troubled economy.

It is difficult to see why the UK when out of the EU should have to stand behind loans the EU has made when we will not be receiving any financial gains the EU might make on other assets.

If this  is the best the EU can come up with we should continue to plan  to leave under the WTO option. The UK should not make any concessions.

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  1. Nig l
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    What was the UKs position on this loan? If we lobbied against it, then we should refuse, my guess is we gave some sort of mealy mouthed support. In any event if it was a loan, when it falls due, wouldn’t we get our portion back?

    Presumably it starts with political intent then the ECB does ‘the paperwork’ which raises a bigger issue and reason to leave, namely under qualified majority voting the UK’s money could be committed ad nauseum to issues we do not support and wrapping us even tighter in their spiders web.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Dear Nig–Falls due?–How d’you mean??–It will be rolled over, including our chunk of course. Even if that isn’t so, repayment would be to the EU and as ever they will find reasons not to pay it on to us.

  2. eeyore
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    There are already signs that Mrs May hopes to cloak substantial extra payments with the sort of financial sleight of hand that Mr Brown became notorious for. I do hope not.

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Eeyore, Hope that the donkeys that lead us won’t give away so much? The problem is it’s not their money, so they have every incentive to pretend that their appeasement is justified.

    • rose
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Have I got this right? Mrs May’s strategy is to keep us in the single market and customs union for an indefinite period, starting with at least two years; we will be under the ECJ and subject to Free Movement; we will still be paying ever increasing amounts of money each year, with the rebate at risk; we will be drawn into the EU army project; we will have no say; no veto; and to secure this happy position, she is throwing billions at them.

  3. James Neill
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    The way you are talking we are well on the road to the WTO route- so no need to worry about a future trading relationship with the EU bloc- just wrap it up by Christmas and walk away- so now will Liam Fox please step forward and give us an update on his plans for international trade? Will Hammond include in his budget provision for a ship building programme to support our new endeavours? will new container ports be built especially to the north and north west to support this new trade with countries far away? We’ll see very soon- in a couple of weeks time- we’ll see just who is bluffing

  4. Dave
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    A nice clean exit onto WTO with a negotiated basic deal on defence, Interpol etc is fast becoming my preferred option. It would save paying this ridiculous divorce bill and allow us to get cracking on negotiating free trade agreement with the rest of the world.

    • Chris
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Seconded, Dave.

    • Soft Brexit
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Yep, let’s walk away and refuse to pay any money, whilst then expecting the EU to do some nice mini-deals on aviation, defence, etc.

      Do you actually believe this fantasy?

  5. Peter Wood
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    These silly threats are unacceptable. They indicate a far larger problem and that is the contempt the EU bureaucracy has for the UK. From the disrespect shown Mr. Cameron, through the EU’s stipulation of the stages and required progress for leaving the EU, and now the ultimatum given to our Prime Minister, as though she were a naughty school girl late with her submission. Our Government must change the way it is seen in Europe. No more nonsense about a ‘deep and special partnership’. Can we have a Government with a backbone and prepared to stand up for its people?

  6. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Your post today John leaves me nothing short of angry. If we capitulate to their demands it will make us look weak and stupid to the rest of the world. I cannot believe that any MP let alone party would want any more to do with this corrupt bunch. For goodness sake wake up and walk away while we still have dome dignity left.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      As far as I’m aware MPs haven’t even bothered to ask the government to publish any detailed “divorce bill” it may have received from the EU. If we get a local plumber to do some work for us we expect to get an itemised invoice after he has completed the job, but it seems that what is well within the capacity of a one man band in our town is more than the numerous officials in the EU Commission can achieve. Either that or the government has in fact been presented with a detailed bill by the EU – Item 1, €X, Item €Y, etc – but prefers to keep quiet about it, maybe on the specious grounds that it could harm the negotiations if UK taxpayers knew how much they were being expected to stump up and on what grounds. Labour MPs have confected a huge fuss about David Davis not publishing some studies of the possible effects of Brexit on different sectors of the economy, and have passed a motion about it and threatened him with punishment for contempt of Parliament if he doesn’t obey it, but apparently they don’t care as much about the money that the EU is proposing to extort from their constituents.

    • Gary C
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink


      • rose
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Yes, very important point.

  7. PaulW
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    John the way i see it if we made promises in the past to finance projects into the future then we should pay up as we are still liable. Why is it everything with you comes down to like two dogs fighting over a bone? We are a very rich country so we can well afford to support the Ukraine. Jeez

    • alan jutson
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink


      Please define “very Rich”

      Interest payments of £560 Billion on our debts (which are still growing by the hour, day, week, month) since 2000 do not seem like we are rolling in it to me.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Dear Paul–I rather suspect that few would agree with you on this–It is not a popularity contest

    • lo
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      You need to check the national debt figures. Paying interest on borrowed money to give away is madness.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      So rich that we have to borrow £50 bn a year to keep going in our profligate manner ?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink


      It beggars belief that you should come out with such sciolism?

      Who is rich in this country? The average citizen is not rich, far from it and there are many citizens living just above or in poverty. Our roads, schools, NHS, elderly care, pensioners, housing, etc require a much-needed cash injection….why should we care what the EU is doing post-Brexit. The EU certainly does not care about the UK today!

      The EU is in a complete and utter mess, etc ed. They have always completely ignored the UK at any given twist or turn!

      Do you believe the EU gives a rat’s tail about the UK issues, of course not? If they had a chance they would squeeze the UK financially dry in their quest for a politically integrated Europe, controlled from Brussels/Berlin! Please wake up and research the mendacious EU, to better understand why Brexit happened?

    • Hope
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      No, not the case. Any proposal was on the basis of being present and a member. Secondly, we might have in the minority against any proposals. History shows UK loses most votes in the EU. Ukraine is not our business or interest.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      PaulW, The EU chooses to spend money bribing the Ukraine, not us. So they should pay for it, not us. What the EU does after we leave is up to them. And the EU must pay for the choices it makes.

      • Mitchel
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        As I understand it Ukraine has been cut off from Russian gas since Nov 15 due to non-payment.Since then Ukraine’s gas supply has been coming through “reverse flow “from other EU states connected to the Russian pipeline.Who is paying the bills?

        • Mitchel
          Posted November 20, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          November 2015.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      We are only liable for our regular EU contributions until the date we leave.
      If the EU is really short after that, we might consider offering them a loan.

      • rose
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        But we would have to take out a loan ourselves to do that.

    • Robin Wilcox
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      We didn’t get exempt from existing liabilities when we joined. The EU cannot have it both ways.
      The liability lies with the EU not the UK. If they had wanted the leaving State to continue to fund EU liabilities then they should have put it in the treaty

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Then tell your friends in the EU to publish a comprehensive, detailed and fully costed list of the financial commitments that they think the UK has made.

      Actually I’ve just remembered that you owe me money. But I’m not going to say how much, or explain why. Perhaps you would care to make me an offer?

    • stred
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      We are currently in debt up to our waists. Together with US hawks, the EU attempted to take over Ukraine and this resulted in a civil war, as the Russian half did not fall into line. Our army is training western Ukrainians to carry on the war. The country was and still is corrupt and we will not see any loan returned. We should get right out of this mess as soon as possible and the EU should too. Regional separate government and a supervised referendum in Crimea would put an end to the shambles.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink


      We are a very rich country you say…. with £3 trillion of debt. Dear oh dear wake up and smell the coffee

  8. Duncan
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Yes, I agree. The UK taxpayer is being held over a barrel by an unelected, unaccountable non-UK based political entity. It is time to stop pandering to the whims of EU and their use of the rebate issue is simply another stick with which to beat the UK.

    These political games are now becoming utterly tedious. Can we please have a proper hard-line Eurosceptic PM who isn’t so skittish, fearful and who believes in the UK and its people?

    Keep up the good work JR. We won the EU referendum and that’s something the Europhile tendency despise. The moral supremacy is on our side. We have the democratic upper hand

    • PeterB
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Permalink will take more than moral supremacy to dig us out of this one..mrs may has put in place a team of leavers- DD, liam Fox and Gove..nearly forgot about if this group cannot get us the best deal possible then who?

      • rose
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        But she isn’t letting them. DD’s dept say they want to wait it out but she keeps shovelling money at the EU and they can’t stop her. She excludes Boris and Fox from meetings and most important of all she has a cabinet of 74% remain to 26% leave. Besides which she has moved DD’s chief negotiator into no ten where the arch remaining cabinet secretary is directing the operation. Her aide de camp who was removed after the election was a convinced brexiteer and we are now noticing the difference.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 4:13 am | Permalink

      Dear Duncan–Agreed apart from your use of “non-UK based” when “foreign” says it better for me.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    IIRC Merkel was among the EU leaders who travelled to Kiev to push for the Association Agreement. The UK was not involved. Like her ill-advised invitation to 1 million refugees to travel to Germany, she now seeks to shuffle some of the burden of her policies on to others. It seems that EU solidarity means paying for the mistakes of others over whom you have no control. Take back control was the watchword of the successful Leave campaign. It must be the bedrock of the present negotiations.

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Yes,as a client state of the US the UK was not involved in the EU’s interference in Ukraine-I well remember the then Polish Foreign Minister,Radek Sikorsky,leaving the discussions with then President Yanukovich during the Maidan disturbances,waving the peace agreement,saying that Poland,not the UK,was now the “third voice” of diplomacy in the EU.That paper agreement,of course, turned to ash within 24 hours.

      All our actions with regard to Ukraine indicate that we are supporting the US’s interests there,not the EU’s,though sometimes both are in harmony.

  10. Timothy Morrow
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The EU should and must publish the “Divorce bill” Providing an itemised bill of what we owe. The country can then have a discussion on the subject. This will be good for the democratic process. No tax payer objects to paying their bills. What the tax payer does object to is their money being wasted on pet projects of the political class, foreign aid as an example. The money we send to the EU is a form of overseas aid, taking money off the poor in the UK and giving it to the Rich people in Brussels.

    Under no circumstances should money be given to the EU to secure a free trade deal. This is called bribery. I would be in court if my business gave money to secure trade with customers. This must be an honest, transparent arrangement. This is the UK and not some tin pot African country.

    The time has now arrived for the UK to decide if it’s a man or mouse. Dictated to by the EU or stand on our own two feet. This one decision on the money will shape our future for the next 50 years. Lion or lapdog?

    • getahead
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps those businesses that would benefit from a “free” trade deal should fork out the money to pay for it. Their free trade with the EU has been implemented by cash from the taxpayer for the last 40 years. Time to stop. Let’s pay off some of the country’s debt.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 4:19 am | Permalink

      Dear Timothy–Not just bribery–More like bribery and extortion and with menaces. To Hell with them.

  11. Mark B
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    With respect to our kind host and taking all the alleged reports appearing in the media, one can only conclude that his final paragraph is nothing more than just wishful thinking.

    It seems any deal is just as good as we are likely to concede to.

    What a pathetic excuse for a Government.

    • Hope
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Agree. We read about many concessions, without mandate against our vote to leave, but for nothing in return other than threats! What person or govt or country would countenance any further discussion? May already trying to condition us that a bad deal is not as it seems. A bit like Cameron’s claim to have reformed the EU so we must stay in! All govt bodies in full project fear mode to help us understand why the bad deal was made or was the best that could be achieved.

      Walk away now, not a penny of our money to be wasted by the likes of May, Hammond, Javid or Rudd.

      Javid should have resigned over his two faced proclamation about voting to remain. His insults to Tory voters and false claims in parliament should have sealed his fete. Immigration crisis that cannot be matched by house building. There is much more at stake, our society, culture, our public services and law and order. But above this our safety and security that this govt is completely ignoring despite three atrocities this year alone!

      • rose
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        And he supported Mrs Clinton when he thought she was going to win.

        The correct thing for a government minister was not to interfere in another country’s election.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Don’t you think reports appearing in the media are hogwash?

  12. Turboterrier.
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Why do we allow ourselves to play this silly game because that is what it has become?

    Just walk away, cut and run call it whatever you want but just get out and do it before Christmas so that we can come out of the blocks flying on the 1st January.

    The UK is not being supported by our media especially the BBC so the longer it all drags on the worse it is going to get. As with every bad card game fold your cards stand up, say thank you and walk . Enough is enough

  13. alan jutson
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Why on earth are we still talking to this lot of bandits ?

    Just walk away now and its WTO terms.

    Mrs May is making us look weaker and weaker around the World by not standing up to these ever more desperate creeps.

    • Tasman
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      We are talking to them, alan, because almost half of our export trade goes to them, and we need to maintain that. That is why David Davis has changed his tone and started to behave cautiously and responsibly. Any politician who tells you we can just walk away has a hidden agenda

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 4:44 am | Permalink

        Dear Tasman–How does what you have just said tie in with Dan Hannan’s telling us that Exports to the EU are 12.6 % of GDP and that, per the World Bank I think it was, only 2 % of that will be lost on Leaving, meaning a mere quarter of 1% overall effect on GDP? Please explain. And, again, who cares anyway, given that Leaving is absolutely for other reasons than mere Trade?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Leslie, being a bit sceptical about this I’ve taken the trouble to track down the original World Bank study:

          There are significant caveats: it’s only about the short term effect on the UK’s exports of goods to the EU, not long term and not services, and it assumes no increase in NTB costs, but it says:

          “This paper analyzes the short-term fallout of trade in goods from Brexit, through potential changes in the trade policies of its main trading partners. We construct the Overall Trade Restrictiveness Index (OTRI) of the UK’s major trading partners. Our analysis shows that in the absence of any trade agreement between the UK and the EU post-Brexit, facing the EU’s Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariffs could cause the UK’s export of goods to the EU to drop by 2 percent. The impact is not larger because the higher tariffs are placed on the
          less elastic products that the UK exports, while the lower tariffs are placed on the more elastic products that the UK exports. The negative relationship between the MFN tariffs and demand elasticity softens the potential collapse in the UK’s exports of goods to the EU,
          in the event the UK and the EU fail to strike any trade agreement post-Brexit. We assume that there are no further compliance costs associated with the existing NTMs facing UK should the UK leave the EU.”

          However for a balanced view another World Bank study concluded that UK-EU trade would be reduced by more than 2%:

          “The findings show that United Kingdom–European Union trade declines under all scenarios, ranging between 6 and 28 percent for trade in value added. This drop is sharper (particularly for services
          and global value chain trade) the lower is the depth of the future arrangement relative to the depth of the European Union agreement.”

          Which would translate to a GDP loss of 0.8% – 3.5% if nothing else changed – ie if there was no switch of products presently exported to the EU to other markets, including the UK market.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted November 22, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

            Dear Denis–TVM–Hannan would seem to have oversimplified and overspoken a bit but even so these numbers all seem small to me; and, again, don’t begin to cover the main reasons why people want to leave, which are not related to Trade. And even if (very farfetched of course ) we were to lose all of the 12.6% via our Exports to rEU somehow dropping to zero, for how long would the situation be likely to stay that way on any basis? About five minutes I would guess: a new equilibrium would develop come what may.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 23, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            Yes, they are small numbers, just as the converse numbers for the benefits of the EU Single Market are small.

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink


        Paying to get so called free trade is not free trade is it.

        May as well pay tariffs at the time of export, then at least it is the companies that benefit from trade who bear the cost not the taxpayer.

        Likewise the companies selling/exporting to us have to pay tariffs to our Government, so helping our tax take.

        At least with tariffs it is done on volume, and not some made up guesstimate at which we seem so poor in calculation.

        Lets be honest for a change. If they want to sell to us for free,l then they should reciprocate in a like manner

      • rose
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        DD is being cut out by the PM.

  14. Caterpillar
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Your final paragraph is correct, there is nothing to add, only to question the Govt and opposition in not taking this position.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      I suppose the one point to add is that since the Govt is still talking in terms of an FTA, it is failing to encourage application for AEO status. The Govt needs to do this now.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Given this claim and the refusal to discuss trade at this point it is very clear that the EU is not remotely negotiating in good faith. We should stop paying any money to them now until a final settlement deal and bill is agreed in full.

    Thanks goodness we are leaving and let us hope the government makes sure it is a full and clean leave.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogic…………..and in writing

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Some good news from Hammond perhaps? He said it was – “not fair that rents were so sky high” or similar. Given this (and always assuming “he is a straight king of guy”) I assume he will be honour bound to undo the gross fiscal unfairness that pushes rents up so high and over which he at no 11 presides?

      The high stamp duty, the 3% extra stamp duty for let homes, the OTT red tape on deposits and the likes, the double taxation of landlord’s interests (once on the landlord then again on the bank) and perhaps even the capital gains tax that richer owner occupiers are exempt from, but has to be paid by landlords (and thus is passed on to tenants)?

      We shall see on Tuesday if he really is “he is a straight kind of guy” or just another tax borrow and waste, say one thing do the complete opposite politician. In the Major, Osborne and Cameron mode.

      More houses are needed just get the government out of the way man, have a bonfire or red tape, relax planning, cut taxes and sort out some fair competition in bank lending. Also stop the courts from killing self employment and the gig economy!

  16. altefritz
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    In other words, the UK is a cash cow. On a normal commercial basis, a party leaving, would be entitled to their share of the assets less their share of the liabilities. Is the problem that, the wine cellar apart, there are no assets?

  17. JoolsB
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    “The UK should not make any concessions.”

    Most would agree with you John but it’s looking more and more likely that Davis, May & co. will cave in to EU demands and hand over even more billions of taxpayers’ money. It’s becoming more and more obvious that the EU are not interested in common sense, i.e. a mutual trade agreement beneficial to both sides but are only interested in how much money they can screw out of the UK. Sadly this pathetic Government looks likely to capitulate.

    Why on earth don’t they have the guts to walk away. Guarantee if that happens, the EU will soon come running back to the table. After all they need us far more than we need them!!!

    • Helena
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      About 46% of our exports go the EU 27. About 6% of the EU 27’s exports go to us. If you really think they need us far more than we need them, then you are not very good at maths

      • Know-Dice
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink


        Percentages are irrelevant, what is important is actual trade in real money terms.
        We import more from the EU than we export to them and that equates to more jobs in the EU that rely on UK trade than are at stake in the UK.

        Also, bear in mind that those EU jobs at risk are in the power broking countries of Germany, France & The Netherlands…

      • Chris
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        A large proportion of those are part of “the Rotterdam effect” i.e. are reexported straight away without so much as the container on the dock side moving in between the transactions. So our export figure to the EU is much less than you are quoting. The figure is artificially inflated as we have to export via Rotterdam. Free of that constraint, we would arrive at a very different figure for our exports to the EU.

      • getahead
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        It has been calculated that it will be cheaper for the country to trade with the EU under WTO rules than to pay EU contributions. So no loss there.
        British businesses trading with the EU would also be no worse off outside the EU’s free-trade agreement because the Government would save enough money on membership fees to compensate exporters for the higher tariffs they might face.

      • NickC
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Helena, Your figures are outdated. The 2017 Pink Book (table 9.1) gives the latest figures for 2016. UK exports to the EU were £213939m (allowing 4% for the Rotterdam effect) out of UK total exports to the world of £547473m, which is 39%, not 46%

        Also from table 9.1 Debits (ie EU exports to the UK) = £318029m. That is over £100bn more from them to us. That’s an awful lot of jobs and profits the EU stands to lose, on top of losing our contributions. You can’t disguise that amount with percentages.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 4:48 am | Permalink

        Dear Helena–Percentages don’t help much when it comes to the cash–The rEU net export to us

      • Edward2
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        It’s less than 46% due to the Rotterdam effect.
        You quote the total EU percentage yet if you look at individual member states countries like France and Germany are much higher in their trade with the UK.
        Some EU nations sell almost nothing to the UK
        The figure is distorted.

      • rose
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        The German Industrialists don’t seem to agree with you.

    • Andy
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Except they don’t and they won’t.

    • Javk snell
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      JoolsB..not so..this is a myth that they need us more than we need might be true if we had other options for trade waiting for us but there are no signs of that and Liam Fox has been very quiet..come to think of it Mrs May and Boris have not said a word either about future trading and how it will be under WTO

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    We have already made concessions and received nothing in return but obstruction and, from certain quarters, threats and abuse. The governement was warned that the EU would behave in this way but walked naively into the “negotiations”. All we hear is that we are prepared to make more concessions – for what?

    • Andy
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      If you voted leave you’re are simply getting what you voted for. Do you not like it? Shame.

      • DaveM
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        I voted leave for better or for worse. I want nothing from the EU. But paying money we don’t owe is stupid and unnecessary. Grow up or comment somewhere else.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        We haven’t got what we wanted because the Government has dragged its feet and deliberately prevaricated giving in to the EU at every opportunity from timescales to content of discussions. I’m afraid we have quislings in Government when we need Farage!

        • Jonp
          Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          Timeaction..exactly..Michael Gove said it would work out but only if we took the right decisions..mind you he said that before he was brought into could be that he sees things differently now.

      • Chris
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        The reply from Dave M deals with;your point, Timaction, very concisely.

      • NickC
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Andy, I voted to Leave. We haven’t. How is that getting what I voted for?

  19. rick hamilton
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Anybody who watches Dateline London on BBC World TV would be forgiven for thinking that the entire EU 27 is unified in its determination to destroy the British economy – and moreover it serves those stupid Brexiteers right !

    Putting aside the shameless pro-EU bias of the BBC and all the foreign correspondents they invite on the programme, has it ever occurred to them that we do not actually trade with the EU itself. We trade with the 27 individual countries whose customer and product requirements often differ quite markedly. In fact ‘we’ means companies doing business with their suppliers and customers, not bureaucrats.

    As Dyson, JCB, Wetherspoon and other entrepreneurial types continually point out, businesses will adjust to the new terms of trade whatever they are and just get on with it, as they always do.

  20. Peter Davies
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I read somewhere that there are plans afoot to do away with EU rebates, so had we voted to stay in the gross figure would the actual figure. Any truth in that?

  21. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    No surprise, the Rebate was always concessionary i.e behave or else. The £350m was accurate. It is also a racing certainty our contribution would have gone up significantly had we voted Remain – captive audience.

    Dominic Grieve’s “I’m only trying to help” reminds me of a classic company cliche – I’m from head office and I’ve come to help!

    From 24/06/16 I expected a fudge but the scale is breathtaking. The incompetence and naivety in this unnecessary negotiation defies belief. Messrs Bamford and Dyson are beacons of hope in this undemocratic and dangerous political farce. Mrs. Thatcher and her key supporters rescued the country from Labour, unfortunately at the next election only the minority will remember the financial disaster from 1964 – 1979.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink


      “Dominic Grieve’s “I’m only trying to help” reminds me of a classic company cliche – I’m from head office and I’ve come to help!”

      I worked under this comment for many years “USA head office”..and it was never to help, but simply to extort more profit, due to Head office incompetence! I am sure, many have had a similar senior management experience?

      The EU sees the UK simply as a financial provider, politically insignificant and a noisy neighbouring vessel, nothing more!

  22. Christine
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    There has been much talk on the EU website over the last few years about scrapping all rebates from 2020. This is why the gross figure should be used. They tell us we must meet our obligations but go back on theirs as soon as it suits them. Don’t trust anything these people say. I wouldn’t give them anything we don’t have to.

  23. Nigel
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    How many more times do we have to put up with this charade of Mrs May running to Europe, offering yet more, and being told to go away and think again? We are fed up with our country being humiliated by a bunch of unelected has beens.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree.

  24. Oggy
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I wish you were conducting negotiations with the EU. The UK should respond by withholding any further payments to them. Who needs enemies when we have ‘friends’ like the EU.
    Unfortunately Mrs May and David Davis are not on the same page as the rest of us who voted leave, it seems capitulation is the ultimate name of their game. .
    Initially I had some faith in David Davis getting us out of the EU but that faith has gone. When I read his idea of a transition is ‘everything stays the same’, ie continuing ECJ jurisdiction, continuing with the 4 freedoms, continuing payments – how is this leaving the EU ! it’s obvious he’s lost his bottle too. I fear for Brexit with TM and DD – The job should be given to you and/or JRM.

    • rose
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      It seems to me these two politicians are terrified of not getting a deal: they fear the backlash from the remainiacs more than they fear the damage to the country and its reputation that they are doing. It was a great blunder to say at the beginning that they would get a bold deal and establish a deep and special relationship. Now they are too small to say they were unrealistic.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      This is DD on the transition/implementation period, which doesn’t sound like ‘everything stays the same’ to me:

      “What is the implementation period taking you towards? Are you going from where we are now to a free trade agreement? Are you going from where we are now to what you might call a bare bones agreement, which is WTO (World Trade Organisation) plus agreements on the fundamentals like aviation, and so on? So you need to know where you are going.”

      I’ve also read that the idea would be to have ECJ supremacy phased out by the end of the two years.

      • Oggy
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Read my comment again.
        You admit yourself that we would still be subject to the ECJ for any ‘transition’.
        Will we still have to accept the 4 freedoms during transition – yes.
        Will we still be paying the EU during transition – yes.
        Therefore technically will we still be in the EU ? – yes.

        Confirmed by David Davis – ‘And he repeated the government’s view that a transition period should last around two years, during which the current status quo would be maintained.’

  25. percy openshaw
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I agree with all of this. James Dyson has made the same point. Oddly, David Davies converted me from a reluctant “Remain” to a confident “Leave” voter by pointing out the virtues of the WTO system. If only the faint hearts and fanatics on the left of the Conservative party would stop hankering for continued EU membership! Can’t they see the damage they are doing? And if all they’ve got to back their arguments up are more threats from Brussels coupled with the hope that sufficient numbers of us who voted “Leave” will die, then they are offering thin gruel indeed. By the way, Dr Redwood, should any degree of weight be attached to the latest threats? If so, my response is to push for leaving all the more promptly and cleanly. Giving in to menaces is a betrayal of the twentieth century; a betrayal of all those who fought and died for freedom and who lie today in Flanders Field.

  26. majorfrustration
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Whatever might be agreed – we will never know the full story or the real amount the politicians agree to pay – despite legally there being no claim against the UK.

  27. acorn
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    “Quite often Remain speakers claimed we do not send the gross amount, but retain the rebate at home.”

    The remainers are correct. Before the UK government transfers any money to the EU the rebate is deducted. For one thing, it saves on foreign exchange costs, £ to Euro and back again.

    In 2014 the UK received a rebate of £4.4 billion. This means £14.7 billion was transferred from the UK government to the EU in official payments. Some of this £14.7 billion came back to the UK. Using EC data which includes credits from the EU to UK public and private sectors, the UK’s average annual consolidated net contribution for years 2010 to 2014 was £7.1 billion.

    £137 million per week.

    • Chris S
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      You are not strictly correct here, Acorn.

      The rebate is paid back to us in arrears. The money we pay over is for the current year and the rebate we receive is for the previous year. We are legally obliged to pay the full amount – our gross contribution each year irrespective of whether we get the rebate in respect of the previous year.

      As we have seen this week, the EU is so desperate to get as much of our money as possible that some officials are now hinting that they might not be obliged to pay our rebate in respect of the final year of our membership as it would be fall due after we have left.

      • Chris S
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mr Redwood.

        In the light of your very recent explanation about the order in which posts are moderated, I would appreciate some guidance.

        My own reply to Acorn was submitted at 10:19am
        It was short and contained no links or references.

        Denis posted a similar but longer reply containing a link that presumably had to be checked at 13:03 pm and no less than six others were posted and approved up to five hours after my contribution. Yet I see that my contribution has still not been approved eight hours after submission.

        I have noticed this happening before but put it down to my posts possibly being longer but not on this occasion.

        If my posts are less than welcome here, please let me know.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Chris, I still have several posts still in moderation …

        • Peter
          Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          Chris S you seem to have moved up the pecking order now. Your post is directly under Acorn – even if it took a while to appear.

          Maybe Denis is known to be a sound chap?

          Lots of my posts also take a while to appear or get deleted if it is any consolation.

    • lo
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink
    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      That may be the precise mechanism for the transactions but the fact remains that the rebate money is a refund for previous overpayments, not an upfront discount, and that money was part of our gross contributions for previous year(s).

      As acknowledged in official government documents, for example in Table 3.A on page 14 in “European Union Finances 2015” here:

      which has successive rows for

      “Gross Payments
      Less: UK rebate
      Less: Public sector receipts
      Net contributions to EU Budget”

      But I don’t expect your prejudice will allow you to accept this, just as you’ve never accepted it when it has been pointed out many times in the past.

      • acorn
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        The detailed Public Sector data is in the “Pink Book”, table 9.9.
        The Private Sector data has to come from Eurostat revenue tables.
        It takes three to four years to finalise an EU budget year.
        Because one line follows another in the accounts, doesn’t mean that is how it actually happens.

        The ONS made a good estimate of the consolidated UK account at You will see there that the rebate – not a refund – actually comes off first.

        “Before the UK government transfers any money to the EU a rebate is applied.”

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          Your reference does not agree with what you say, and the sentence you quote does not even appear. The rebate relates to over-payment in the previous year, or in fact to a progressively diminishing extent to earlier years as well as it can take some years to finalise how much is due back to us.

          “The UK’s contribution to the EU budget changes each year as it is dependent on various factors such as: UK Gross National Income (GNI), the GNI of other EU member states and the value of the UK rebate (which is not a fixed amount, rather it is based on payments and receipts for the previous year).”

          So how can the rebate for each year be deducted upfront before it is even known what it will be?

          And your Pink Book Table 9.9, reproduced in your reference, shows the UK gross contribution in 2014 as over £19 billion, or over £365 million a week.

          All this nonsense is just another pathetic attempt to discredit the referendum result by sore losers who are more committed to the EU than to democracy.

          • acorn
            Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

            “So how can the rebate for each year be deducted upfront before it is even known what it will be?”

            The guys who actually do the job tell me that is how they do it. They are always working three years budgets at the same time. There are multiple changes before they are finalised.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 23, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            As stated above, what they deduct each year is the (estimated) rebate, refund for overpayments, for the previous year(s)!

            “it is based on payments and receipts for the previous year.”

    • Robin Wilcox
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      So how can the EU hold back the rebate ? Something stinks here.

      • Chris
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Acorn’s argument seems to have been exposed for what it is. Good point, RW.

    • rose
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      The rebate is paid a year in arrears which is how the EU is able to hang on to the last one.

      “The money never leaves our shores” Clarke has some explaining to do.

    • acorn
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Forgot to say. The UK rebate is paid a year in arrears. So the last rebate will be paid after the UK has left the EU. This is the bit the EU may keep as part payment of the divorce bill.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, No, the gross figure must be used because a) the Thatcher rebate is deducted a year in arrears (that’s one of the points JR made); and b) what the EU spends in the UK is under EU control, not ours. Moreover the bill has tended to go up every year so referring to years prior to 2015 is misleading. Our net contribution recently has been well over £10bn/yr.

    • William
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      ‘The remoaners are correct”, except, of course, when mostly they’re not.

      In 2015 the UK contributed €18.21 billion to the EU budget (after a rebate of €6.08 billion) and also collected €4.27 billion in customs and farm trade duties on the EU’s behalf, of which it retained 25%, as an administrative fee.

      If the EU exceeds its budget, as it did in 2014-2015, the UK is responsible for the difference. We did that year in the amount of £1.7 billion. Parliament has no control over these payments since Britain is part of the EU and civil servants are legally obliged to pay these costs.

      Bailout Mechanism – Britain contributed close to £50 billion in financial aid since the fiscal year 2013-2014. Between 2009-2011, British taxpayers provided Ireland with a backdoor bail-out of more than £14 billion via the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds.
      RBS made ‘capital contributions’ totalling £7.6 billion to its Dublin-headquartered subsidiary Ulster Bank Ireland while Lloyds transferred £6.41 billion to its Irish operation, Bank of Scotland (Ireland). With another international rescue provided by the UK government in the amount of £7 billion. The UK taxpayer has bolstered the Irish economy with at least £20 billion during that time period.

      EU Debt & High Risk Loans – The European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank use the UK’s good credit rating to borrow money, making Britain liable for high risk loans and its respective debts. The UK comes out second from the top in terms of the size of its economy and lending “credit enhancement” to other EU Member States but second from the bottom in terms of benefits drawn according to a study on “UK’s Liabilities to the Financial Mechanisms of the European Union”.

      As published in a 2016 briefing by the National Audit Office on EU-UK Finances, the Balance of Payments Facility allows the EU to offer up medium-term financial assistance to member states outside the euro area. UK is responsible for £1.2 of Hungary, Latvia and Romania’s outstanding loans of €8.6 billion.

      The European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism allows the EU to grant billions in financial assistance to any member state with £6.6 billion representing the UK’s indicative share of the total drawdown from this fund, plus interest.

      Additionally, the UK contributed around £8 billion in the past eight years towards the European Development Fund which represents overseas aid.

      Migrant expenses – The costs of open borders imposed by the EU is over £6 billion over the course of eight years, with Britain paying tax credits and child benefits to migrants. Migration Watch UK reported UK is “paying more taxes as a result of migration, having less to spend on public services.” In 2014/15, the cost to the Exchequer of immigration was £17 billion.

      A breakdown of transfers by migrants back home suggest British migrants sent over £16 billion back to foreign nations since 2010. A news report by The Guardian said remittances from the UK could be worth up to $23 billion. Another article in the Express describes migrants sending £11 billion back to foreign nations in 2014, inclusive of money derived from child credits and benefits and equivalent to the same amount as Britain’s Foreign Aid budget.

      Moreover, the “Freedom of Establishment” within the EU single market costs the UK up to £10 billion per annum in taxes according to a study on “The UK’s Lost GDP and Tax Revenues.” High-value jobs and the majority of the spending goes to the member state with aggressive tax regimes to attract multinationals while the UK supply chains are staffed mostly with low-skilled, low-wage labour.

      The liabilities calculated above don’t include match funding required to draw back any EU spending in UK. In order to attract EU investment, Britain has to match the EU’s contribution.

      Then of course we have the guarantor excess insurance fees in that the UK paid to help the PIIGS.

      I will let you do the math.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      As you say Acorn, £14.7 billion goes from the UK to the EU
      When we leave all this can be spent the way we decide.
      On the NHS perhaps.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Have you factored in the percentage of VAT and the 80% being handed over from the Common External Tariff (CET). Our net contribution is way higher than what you say. Then there is the ex gratia payments which Cameron said he wouldn’t pay but did.
      We are being fleeced from every angle by a bunch of unscrupulous thugs and we should show some self respect.

      • stred
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Good point. We must deduct VAT payments too.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


      In Tesco its called buy two get one free .

    • SecretPeople
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      If the rebate is deducted before we transfer the money, how would the EU be able to withhold it from us? We pay the gross amount and the rebate is repaid later – that is why our host writes that if they are threatening to withhold it we should deduct it at source.

    • Chris
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Not correct, Acorn, and even Laura K apparently accepts that. See Twitter.

  28. Lifelogic
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Small firm Brexit views are being ignored says Lord Bamford. He is certainly spot on here.

  29. a-tracy
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    If Charles Moore in the DT is writing against you, you must be doing something right. From the end of this months subscription I’m not paying their premium anymore I’ve had enough of reading it. I think DD is well aware of what happened to Thatcher when she went in to bat against the EU. She wouldn’t have signed the Maastricht Treaty so the EU supporters in her own party turned against her, the people didn’t turf her out and we got stitched up by Major afterwards, we were tied in closer and lost out significantly taking years to recover. We weren’t told what he was agreeing to and we’re now discovering they tied us up in knots.

    In the next couple of years we need to reinforce our own produce and spend money marketing it. We need to World trade fairs and market them, we need to start spending money promoting U.K. Plc abroad as our pound now makes us so competitive. We need to concentrate backbench MPs into thinking about our future not our past and get on with it in parallel. Give Labour MPs a role in this, one of each large party give them a Country each and stop letting the EU threaten our future prosperity get on with it and give these MPs something positive to work on, the devil makes work for idle hands.

  30. David Williams
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The EU knew that Member States could leave inder article 50. It should have been more prudent and responsible in its spending.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      David, excellent point.

    • Chris
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      It doesn’t do prudence, David, but instead gross and vulgar overspend on its own pet projects and grandiose buildings, its lavish pensions, expenses and perks, and its grasping of ever more power (in my view).

  31. Brigham
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Walk away now. As I have been saying, for a long time, let them come to us, and we will deal with them when we have the time. In other words no more money for them at all FROM NOW!

  32. Lifelogic
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Listening to P Hammond this on Marr it seems he is just going to tinker with stamp duty for a few first time buyers. This is not remotely enough. He needs to kill the extra 3% and cut all the rates to sensible levels. Turnover taxes are hugely damaging and at over about 2% on property they are totally insane. He also need to stop the taxation of “profits” that have not even been made, that are pushing up rents and decreasing property supply so much.

    Why do we have a chancellor who is so irrational and logically challenged. What does he not understand about “taxed too much already” and with little of real value or quality being delivered in return by the state sector.

    He also need to get some real competition in bank lending, particularly development finance if he want more houses build.

  33. formula57
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    “In that case we should only send the contribution net of estimated rebate.”

    What words are these? Have you overnight become as weak and vacillating as a government minister?

    Clearly we should send nothing and make settlement if any only after we have agreed final accounts. We might withhold the penultimate year’s contribution too, and that due this year – all to conform to the Evil Empire approach to Brexit that “nothing is agreed untiil everything is agreed”.

    Reply All involved have agreed we owe them the regular contributions up to departure date

    • formula57
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      “All involved” should unagree it then, given these fresh circumstances. I do not, however, say we should renege upon our obligations, just make sure the cash flows only when it is clear what those net oblligations should be.

  34. Bert Young
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    The logic and morality of retaining the rebate of our EU contribution is right . If the EU believe that they can decide for us , they are wrong . At the moment I would prefer that we stop all payments immediately ; this approach would remind everyone where the money comes from . The retaliation would simply mean that our trade with the EU would be on a WTO basis ; individual countries would seek their own ways out .

    I am very much concerned that the CS are reported to be side-stepping David Davis and influencing the negotiations directly with No. 10 . The CS are there to respond to the directions they receive from Ministers ; their role is not to create policy and direction . In-putting detail and views are one thing , decision making is another . All sectors of vested interests are now playing their cards with the media and distorting the initiative of those like David Davis who are charged with getting the deal done . The time has come for all doors to be closed .

  35. Epikouros
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Twisted logic usually motivated by fear of loss of rights and privilege and haughty belief in the righteousness in ones own opinion is so often the cause for serious disagreement. That leads to actions that are only resolved after damaging conflicts. A winner may emerge but it will be at a heavy cost. The EU UK negotiations appear to be caught in this situation. Although on this occasion the EU has misjudged as normally the haughty have at least some might to back up their claims and use it to force might to be right. The EU has very little might to back up it’s claims but the UK has as we know no deal will hurt the EU considerably more than us.

    However it will still have consequences as it will leave some important matters unresolved such as the Irish/Norther Ireland border, a few others and it will increase EU hostility towards the UK(which is hard to contemplate can be any worse than it currently is but it will). We cannot ignore this outcome so perhaps reluctantly we should accede to some of the EU’s petty demands and pay up the minimum we can get away with to get shot of them. After all we often regrettably do appease to placate aggressive bullies like them for a quiet life. There is a danger in this because if you give into a bully once then it will encourage the bully to be more difficult and belligerent. So there is nothing stopping the EU having extracted a divorce settlement then not playing fair on negotiations on trade and cooperation.

    • Epikouros
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      The UK stance that the divorce settlement and other negotiations should run in parallel is absolutely right and if not to just walk away.

  36. Rien Huizer
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Interesting point of view (Ukraine). Within the EU it was always the UK that campaigned for a high l;evel of support (up to membership) for the debris of the former Soviet Empire. Without UK support for the Ukrainian association there might be less of a perceived threat to Russian interests or at least the push might have come from the US State Department alone.

    The Russian intervention in the Crimea (understandable but wrong) might not have taken place without the EU (and in its wake, NATO) voicing support for the anti Russian riots in Kiev (Maidan). But suggesting that the UK was not an active proponent of this chain of events is wrong. And the UK’s obligations should not be questioned. Anyway all of this is of course, water under the bridge.

  37. graham1946
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Why do we have such an incompetent government doing the negotiating anyway? They have proved beyond doubt that they could not run a bath – just one crisis after another with a bit of sex thrown in as a distraction.

    This is a matter of national, not party interest and should have been done by an all party grouping with only Britain’s interest at heart, not what is good or not for the Tories or easy for a weak Prime Minister. This is our country, our tax money and our future, not the property of Conservative Central Office to mess up as they please. We will live with the consequences, whilst the politicians will waltz away afterwards with a nice fat pension and probably a plum non- job with some company they have dealings with (or maybe even the EU!).

  38. bigneil
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I assume our “protest” against paying will be similar to the one a certain PM made in refusing to pay an EU demand for cash – -and then paid it within days. Throwing the taxpayers cash away just to satisfy the wants – not needs – of the already rich will carry on losing your party votes.

    OT – – Now we are going to get an announcement to build 300’000 new homes a year – They clearly won’t be for the struggling working class, but will end up being paid for by them.

  39. Simon
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    The paperwork in respect of bank guarantees is always crystal clear. There should be no ambiguity.

  40. BillyElliot
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Why everyone so over the moon with WTO? Our economy is 79 % service economy. WTO only deals with trade. Bank and law sectors as well as high tech / digital services and start ups need to be addressed as well.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      Billy, From the WTO website: “At its heart are the WTO agreements … they are essentially contracts … signed by governments, the goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business …”.

  41. Chris S
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Is there anyone who genuinely knows what is going on in the Cabinet over Brexit ?

    This morning we had encouraging signs from Hammond when he seemed to say that any offer of more money had to have conditions attached. Maybe he has in mind a trade deal acceptable to us ? I hope so.

    One thing is certain. At this point we need a collective leadership that is capable of holding its nerve.

    I have no doubts about Gove and Boris and maybe David Davis if he was given a free hand, but it is alarming to hear that our chief negotiator has been excluded from recent discussions on the way forward. I have severe doubts about the rest of the cabinet.

    Could our host please enlighten us ???

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    “Quite often Remain speakers claimed we do not send the gross amount, but retain the rebate at home. We have further confirmation from the EU that we do send the gross amount and have to reclaim the rebate later.”

    I’ve not been alone in repeatedly pointing out that the UK’s budget rebate is not an upfront discount applied to our contribution each year before we pay it, but a refund for overpayment – mainly overpayment in just the preceding year, but also to a diminishing extent going back to earlier years as their financial details are finalised.

    It may well be that when the Treasury authorises each monthly payment to the EU it will take into account all the receipts due from the EU for that month, which could include part of the abatement, as well as the payments to be made to the EU; but even if that is the detailed mechanism of how it is done that does not mean that the money which is later rebated is never paid over and should not be included in our gross contribution.

    But I don’t suppose the Remoaners will ever accept this; as usual they will just carry on repeating the same lies that they like to share with each other and use as ammunition in their propaganda war against Brexit.

    A one-sided war, as either David Davis is far too busy to set up any small unit to rebut the Remoaner lies or he doesn’t think it’s important to keep the public on side.

    • leavewon
      Posted November 24, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper
      Your last two lines are key.
      Forget DD setting up a unit.
      Two line rebuttals with facts on EVERY blog from you and other informed people.
      Mobilise the army on GP to help in the above
      (instead of KEK memes, totty talk and what they drank last night )
      Get Trump ( not sure he’s 100% ok )
      to loan you Gorka or similar.
      Don’t think it can’t be done. Anything can be done.
      This is a propaganda /cyber war.
      Stop waiting for someone in AUTHORITY to do it.
      In the end we’re out in March and that’s all that matters.
      Have a happy weekend in the fresh air looking at the clouds.

  43. anon
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    “Loans?” and who classified them as loans? and who agreed them.
    Were the loans ever good? Why were they classified as such?

    We remove benefits and tax hard working responsible individuals to a point where work becomes a “is it really worth it?” And we chase people down over minor overpayments of benefits?

    Not just the young with obscene housing costs but the older generations as they steal built up capital via inflation to pay for this monstrosity.

    The loans were probably never made in the expectation that they would be repaid, but likely for control and potential influence.

    So see this for what it is a continuing effort to thwart the democratic will of the people, who want democracy back in the UK and exiting the EU is the first step.

    We should leave and exit to WTO immediately. We need to remove uncertainty and do it now.

    No more of these faux negotiations.

  44. Bob
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
  45. Man of Kent
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Looking at all the posts above I am struck by the near unanimity of getting out now.
    I agree.

    Indeed DD has been a huge disappointment in the last month or so.
    As an ex SAS soldier and Tate and Lyle Director with knowledge of trade I expected better.
    His bonhomie seems to be totally misplaced ; now giving the impression that a deal has already been agreed so he can relax and get on with obfuscating the details in myriad small ways over a lengthy period .

    The Florence speech should have been a take it or leave it offer rather than an opening bid .

    I was also disappointed that JRM defended the right of the mutineers to attempt to buy ‘a bit more time ‘ to conclude negotiations . As if membership of the Tory MPs club allowed them to be Remain in all but name .
    Thank goodness our host demolished the date of leaving issue with argument in debate .

    JRM did at least make it clear that being subject to ECJ in a ‘transition period ‘ would mean that we had not left . A point DD/TM should acknowledge or go now !

    Enough is enough, the country will react to a challenge if properly led, but this obfuscation and nudge , nudge ,wink , wink is just a disaster .

  46. Prigger
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    We should charge the EU for British troops in training activities in the Ukraine. I’m not sure these military activities by our army are part of a NATO headed push.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      No worries, the troops are there for purely UK?NATO purposes.

  47. Chris
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    What is abundantly clear is hat we need a competent Chancellor in place, and one who is utterly committed to Brexit. It would appear that Hammond has bungled his Marr interview by claiming that our national debt is about to decline, and that there is no unemployment in the country (See Spectator article). Perhaps what he meant to say was that the rate of increase of our national debt would slow down. I just do not have confidence in this man, and one has to query his qualifications for the job. One of the commenters to the article suggests he had no financial experience and that his degree was in social politics. There are far more competent Cons MPs available to do the job and John Redwood and J R-M immediately spring to mind.

  48. Prigger
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Why are we learning in advance what the Chancellor is going to do in the Budget, actually leaked by the Chancellor. How come Mr Davis MP said in the House only days ago that he himself learns of the contents of the Budget “only” one week before it is made. How many other MPs learn of it in advance and do those MPs have tips on which company shares to buy right now.?

    Reply No of course not. MPs are not told of the budget contents until it is read out for all to hear.

  49. Peter
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    ‘If this is the best the EU can come up with we should continue to plan to leave under the WTO option. The UK should not make any concessions.’

    Agreed. I am of the same opinion as the host on Brexit.

    Going back to the moderation topic, I also realise that this site is very much an echo chamber.

    So while my views on clean Brexit may get published, lots of other topics are not up for discussion.

    I am also mystified as to why some have carte blanche to state all sorts of irrelevant and long winded responses.

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    “If this is the best the EU can come up with … ”

    What has the EU come up with in terms of any detailed bill explaining what they think we should pay to leave? Has any such itemised invoice been presented to David Davis, and if so why can that not be published so we can know what we are being expected to pay for, so that for example the Taxpayers’ Alliance can go through it line by line?

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across this kind of thing before, where somebody claims that I owe them money but they refuse to say how much they think I owe or explain how they have arrived at that figure, and instead they ask me to make them an offer of how much I’m willing to pay. And as I will be making my personal contribution to whatever “exit fee” the government agrees to pay I would like to know the whys and wherefores.

    Have MPs demanded to see a detailed, itemised invoice? If not, why not?

    • rose
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      I think the tactic is to get us to commit ourselves to a formula for calculating what we “owe” so that when they use that as a vehicle for presenting an exorbitant amount, we won’t be able to gainsay it. Thank goodness DD has resisted so far.

  51. Chris
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Amednment to my comment above: Grieve’s comments were in a John Pienaar interview not in the H of C. Apologies.

  52. cornishstu
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I think we need another referendum this time a legally binding one, so that we the people can reject any deal that is a stitch up of the British taxpayer and opt to just leave take back what is ours i.e fishing grounds etc and trade under WTO rules. If such were to be put in place it might improve the EU stance towards the negotiations. I certainly have no confidence in the majority of MPs voting to reject a stitch up. I have never been so disillusioned by those who are supposed to represent us and if they can’t or wont do the job time to change how things work and let us make the decisions where we feel we need to, because a vote every 5 years on who the central parties want to stand as opposed who the local parties want is just not working, we end up voting for Hobson’s choice, a career politician towing the party line.

    • Chris S
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      No need for another referendum.

      At the general election just five months ago, 85% of voters supported parties campaigning on a leave ticket. The SNP and LibDems campaigned to Remain and both lost significant support.

      At the time of the election, the Government had made it absolutely clear that we would be out of both the customs union and the single market yet more than 60% of everyone entitled to vote placed their cross for a party campaigning to leave.

      If that isn’t a mandate to Leave with or without a deal I don’t know what is.

  53. Nig l
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Santa’s, Hammond/May are going to offer more money to the EU. Why not, hey throw a few extra billion in, after all the concessions they have made, not. It’s not their money, so who cares ?

    It’s not as if the NHS, armed forces, local authorities etc are awash with cash. Next time I drive over a series of potholes I won’t be angry, I will rejoice that the money is going to a greater cause, potholes across the rest of Europe, from driving there extensively, mainly in the old eastern part, and vast numbers of old buildings being renovated, and finally my
    money keeping many of their inefficient farmers going and, you couldn’t make this up,
    competing with each other, country on country.


  54. hans chr iversen
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink


    I am sorry the WTO is not really a valid option for UK business and it will only make our competitive position in Europe even more difficult and cost UK businesses a lot of money , which will eventually also include the consumer, so no that is not really a good valid option to pursue.

    We need to get the best possible deal for Britain through a continued close relationship with the EU and therefore with our allies in Europe

    • ian wragg
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Go back to your Brussels play pen and stop talking such arrant nonsense. Your idea of total capitulation won’t wash so be quiet.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Any proof of any of those assertions?

    • stred
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Just put Danish on the no buy list.

    • Original Richard
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      We are currently paying £10bn/year net (probably far more if the EU’s so called divorce bill is to be believed) for a trade deal that means we import £100bn/year more from the EU than we export to them.

      This is a rotten deal!

      And clearly shows that we will be far better off moving to WTO terms plus being able to take back our fishing grounds.

      This is all before regaining our freedom to make our own laws and be able to decide our own immigration, trade, tax and foreign policies etc.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      Hans, You have it demonstrated in front of your face daily that the EU is not our friend, nor even our ally. We certainly don’t want a close relationship with the undemocratic, corrupt, dysfunctional EU

      Of course the WTO is a valid option. We use WTO rules for all our international trade including with the EU right now. We export about 50% more to the rest of the world than we do to the EU already, so clearly the EU system is not necessary.

      • Tasman
        Posted November 21, 2017 at 6:17 am | Permalink

        We do not use WTO rules for any of our international trade. None.

  55. Dennis
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    JR you wrote – “Quite often Remain speakers claimed we do not send the gross amount, but retain the rebate at home.”
    And -“…We have further confirmation from the EU that we do send the gross amount and have to reclaim the rebate later. ”
    Acorn here says you are wrong but you made no reply to his assertion – why not?

    And if you are right why has it taken more than a year to find out?

    Reply I have always known and said we pay the gross and get a rebate later. I don’t try to correct all the nonsense people post

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      It hasn’t taken a year to find out!

      For example this is from June 10th 2016:

      “JR, I know that it is off this topic but please could I just post this link:

      so that people can understand why the UK’s rebate is not an up-front discount each year but instead a refund of money overpaid in the previous year(s).

      It is a system which is not just overly complex but fundamentally daft, and it seems to me that it is symptomatic of the EU’s malaise that it has now been running for over thirty years without the EU getting round to reforming the way that budget contributions are calculated so that they would be seen as fair to all its member states without any member state needing to be specially compensated for overpayment year after year.”

    • Dennis
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      This nonsense has been put about by everyone on the Remain side on TV and Radio ad nauseum for more than a year which was used as a powerful point by them but you had not tried to stop that from the beginning.

      I think even when you were on Question Time.

  56. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    There are some people asking why it should be a problem to put the date and time of our departure from the EU on the face of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, given that the date has already been set by the letter giving notice under Article 50 TEU.

    The answer is simple. If it was still only a matter of Article 50 TEU then a future UK government could easily agree with all the other EU governments that our withdrawal would be postponed, perhaps in the end indefinitely; and it could agree to that as an executive measure without referring back to Parliament, let alone having a delay while Parliament passed a new bill to amend the Act and cancel withdrawal.

    So having the date and time on the face of the Act would erect a significant barrier to a future government going back on what has been said since the referendum and keeping us in the EU. Not necessarily an insuperable barrier, but nonetheless significant.

    That is why leading Remoaners are so opposed. Nothing at all to do with the possibility that it might turn out to be important to carry on negotiations for a bit longer to get the best deal, if they were really concerned about that they would be telling their chums in the EU to stop playing silly buggers and get on and start the negotiations.

  57. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    There is an article in the Observer today by one Martin Donnelly, who was previously the permanent secretary at the department for international trade:

    “We shouldn’t even be contemplating leaving the single market”

    I’m not going to go through all the nonsense he has written, I will just point out:

    a) This is probably typical of the pro-EU attitudes of civil servants who have risen through the ranks over the past half century, and we need a massive clear out.

    b) When he writes about “the facts” he strangely omits to mention that according to the EU Commission itself the Single Market has added a mere 2% to the collective GDP of the member states – an estimate which has been accepted in official UK government reports – while according to a separate German study the benefit to the UK has been only half of that average at about 1% of GDP; and with a long term average economic growth rate of 2.5% a year that corresponds to natural growth over five or ten months.

  58. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    So many stories around .We can wait .Mr Hammond was positive this am on the box talking about future opportunities instead of this incessant squabbling.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      There are no future opportunities, just nationalistic bliss

      • NickC
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        Rein, Is that EU nationalistic bliss?

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted November 21, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          The EU is not a nation, as you know..

  59. Iain Gill
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Hammond has got to go. He wouldn’t have a job if brought up in social housing far beyond decent schools and the modern jobs market
    He wouldn’t have a job if he worked in a role that has been flooded with immigration.
    The jobless figures are completely bogus, as for vast numbers of people it’s not worth signing on.
    Really where are the decent journalists to challenge this stuff.
    Cameron was bad enough, this is taking the Mickey.

  60. Peter D Gardner
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who bothered to read the Lisbon treaty would know the EU not UK decides the amount of the rebate. It is negotiated by a member state in a position of having no choice but to accept the decision of the other members. How come the Leavers fail every time to point this out? Even John Redwood?

    • rose
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      I have pointed it out in the past and I am sure others have too.

    • HenryS
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Peter D Gardner..yes but when we go to WTO rules any dispute there that is held by the board is held in secret..decsisions are dished out to countries for which there is no fact the WTO can force countries to change their countries laws if they conflict with WTO rules or rulings. Amazing that true democrats like JR would wish that kind of democracy on us?

  61. Ron Olden
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I have no doubt that the Government is, as Mr Hammond says, ”on the brink of ‘making some serious move forward’ in the Brexit negotiations”.

    By which I assume they mean they will offer yet more money in exchange for nothing.

    I can also predict that it will do no good. The EU will reject it, and make further unspecified demands for more.

    They will call it ‘a request for further clarification’. Just wait and see.

    The EU bureaucrats are like a deranged blackmailer holding, (what he thinks is), a hostage.

    A couple of days ago they were threatening to withhold the rebate Mrs Thatcher negotiated for the UK. They appeared oblivious to the fact that the UK can overcome the threat by simply withholding the value of the rebate from our contribution until we leave, or withholding it from the ‘Divorce Settlement’ when we go, and just pay over the Net amount due.

    The money we have offered so far, already exceeds the rebate.

    So in purely financial terms we’d be better off with no deal at all. We pay nothing, and they can keep their rebate.

    If they don’t agree to start proper negotiations in December 2017 we should make them a final offer.

    We offer them the Net contribution (that’s Net of things they would have spent in the UK, such as agricultural subsidies, projects etc), which we would have paid had we remained in the EU until the end of the current agreed budget period (i.e. 2020).

    We subtract any outstanding unpaid rebates we’ve accrued prior to the end of the payment period.

    If, however, they don’t agree a realistic Free Trade Deal, we pay them nothing beyond March 2019, and sue them in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for the accrued rebates they owe us to date.

    Owing to the way the EU Budget works the rebate is paid a year in arrears so the rebate might be enforceable against them in the ECJ even after we’ve left and paid our last Gross Payment.

    On the other hand, and given that they are in breach of the Lisbon Treaty by refusing to negotiate a future relationship, it might be safer for us simply to withhold the final year’s rebate from the final year’s Gross Contribution.

    European Law requires us to pay nothing beyond March 29th 2019 and even if it did the ECJ ceases to have jurisdiction in the UK on that date, so they wouldn’t be able to enforce any judgement.

    They also owe us our share of EU assets, a claim that might also be enforceable in the ECJ after we’ve left.

    To ensure that we get most of what we are entitled to, we should therefore stop making any further payments to the EU if the talks break down in December 2017.

    There is also the question of our our 16% voting shareholding in the European Investment Bank. The bank is legally separate from the EU, and the EU itself doesn’t own any of it.
    The rules of the bank (allegedly) require shareholders to be members of the EU. The legal basis for that assertion however is not entirely settled.

    The rules themselves state that Non EU members of the IMF can also be ‘members’ of the bank.

    When we talk about ‘membership’ of a company such as a bank we mean ‘shareholders’. But how such a rule could be enforced against an existing shareholder leaving the EU is anyone guess.

    We qualified to buy the shares when we bought them.The law will not allow the Bank to confiscate shares owned by a party who happens to have ceased to meet the criteria to have purchased them in the first place.

    We obviously don’t want the shares, because the bank doesn’t make a profit, so it pays us no dividends. The shares are therefore financially useless to us.

    And the remaining shareholders (the other 84%) will not want the UK to cease to be a member, otherwise they’d have to pay us for the shares, in a sum equal to 16% of the Net Assets of the Bank. That’s about £11 Billion.

    They are therefore more likely to simply vote to allow the UK to carry on being a shareholder even if we don’t want to.

    It would however be quite amusing if the UK remained the equal largest voting shareholder in what is effectively a proxy EU institution. We could for example gang up with our smaller ally nations in the EU and outvote Germany, France, and Italy combined.

    For these, and a number of other reasons the UK is a unassailably strong position in these negotiations.

    The fifth columnists have been working full time to undermine our strong position. We must not let them win.

    Our enemies are not on the continent. Most of them will behave rationally and do the best they can for their own countries.

    The real enemies are here in the UK.

  62. VotedOut
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    The EU’s meddling in the Ukraine is proof if it was needed that Brussels is Berlin’s proxy.

    Since the treaty of brest-litovsk, Berlin has by accident of geography always had fingers in the Ukraine. Russia sees this as a threat – particularly with a unified Germany. The EU’s desire for an EU army will only inflame the situation further, which is why it is so dangerous.

    I fear NATO being dragged into a Baltic states proxy war if we are not careful.

    Leaving the EU was never more crucial in that respect.

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      As the Daily Express,in response to Churchill’s planned (and ultimately disastrous)intervention in the Russian civil war,proclaimed in January 1919 :-

      “The frozen plains of Eastern Europe are not worth the bones of a single British grenadier”

  63. John O'Leary
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Some examples of UK exports put at severe risk by leaving on so called WTO terms.

    Sector Worth/Year (£ billion)
    ——– ————————-

    Car Manufacturers 40
    Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 45
    Civil Aviation 28
    Food 12
    Financial Services 45

    Plus the costs of welfare payments for all those poor souls put out of work.

    If we leave the EU on WTO without an interim agreement as good as EEA then we are in for a very torrid time JR. Don’t be surprised if your constituents turn against you when Brexit goes unnecessarily pear shaped.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Well, just for a start “Car Manufacturers 40” is grossly misleading as can be seen from the data mentioned by JR to which I referred in my comment below:

      “The UK industry runs a £13 bn surplus with the rest of the world and a £21.8bn deficit with the rest of the EU on vehicles. It also runs a £6.2bn a year deficit on components with the rest of the EU and is in balance on parts with the rest of the world. The EU has not been a good or easy market for the UK industry.”

      So that’s a deficit of £21.8 billion plus £6.2 billion = £28.0 billion on our trade in vehicles and components with the rest of the EU, with about half of that loss being countered by a £13 billion surplus with the rest of the world.

      I certainly don’t recommend bringing our trade with the EU in this sector to a sudden halt, but if that happened they would be hurt far more than us.

      • acorn
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        The EU’s biggest worry will be the Pound Sterling. Adrift from the EU trading bloc, the exchange rate for the Pound versus Euro is likely to drop. That will be a natural correction to try and reduce the UK’s trade deficit. That will make imports into the UK more expensive; and, a UK imposed import tariff, will add insult to injury. Pity the government that is in charge at that time.

        As the UK is an import “black hole” for foreign exporters, UK citizens get to enjoy the benefits of goodies that we can’t make themselves. In return we give those foreigners a bag of our currency. The UK effectively imports foreigners potential unemployment. The Germans who got work making the BMW for the UK, want paying in Euro not Pounds. But that’s another story.

        The bottom line is; as long as foreigners are prepared to SAVE Pounds Sterling and buy up UK assets denominated in Pounds Sterling, no problem. If the Pound falls too far against the Euro, foreign central banks will buy Pounds to keep its value up, so the UK keeps buying their exports. What do you think is likely to happen next?

    • ian wragg
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      So life stops the day after Brexit.
      Now publish a list of EU trade into Britain starting with German car manufacturers and French wine/cheese exporters.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      This is exactly what the Minfordian Luddites want: destroy the welfare state by putting the country through some unprecedented period of hardship.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Who is going to get elected with that policy?
        More unsubstantiated project fear from you Rien

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        You obviously don’t know who the Luddites were or what they did.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted November 21, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          Too young to have worked in a 919th century factory and protesting aginst modern , efficient methods of production.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      John O’Leary, We export about 50% more to the rest of the world than we do to the EU, and under the WTO rules you sneer at.

      • Tasman
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Utterly false. Our exports to the rest of the world depend on the many EU trade and facilitation deals that exist, and we lose the benefit of all of them after Brexit

        • NickC
          Posted November 20, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          Tasman, Utterly false. Our exports to the rest of the world depend primarily on the original international WTO rules. The few EU trade and facilitation deals (RTAs) that exist have little effect, many of them being for imports anyway.

          The latest Pink Book figures show our exports to the EU as about 39% of our total exports (ex-Rotterdam effect), so we do indeed export about 50% more to the rest of the world in comparison.

  64. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, a notorious Remoaner has been writing about the importance of the EU Single Market for our car industry, so it may be timely to have a small reminder:

    “The UK industry runs a £13 bn surplus with the rest of the world and a £21.8bn deficit with the rest of the EU on vehicles. It also runs a £6.2bn a year deficit on components with the rest of the EU and is in balance on parts with the rest of the world. The EU has not been a good or easy market for the UK industry.”

    But apparently we have been a very good and easy market for them, and the easier the trade the more they stand to gain from it. And the generous offer from our government has been to continue with that easy trade with minimal new impediments, even though the trade balance is so massively to our disadvantage.

    I’m increasingly thinking that if Theresa May allows us as UK taxpayers to be ripped off by the EU then we as UK customers should retaliate by boycotting their exports.

    In 2016, their exports to us were worth £318 billion while our exports to them were worth only £236 billion, four pounds of imports for every three pounds of exports, so that was an overall deficit of £82 billion on our trade with them:

    Given that our government and Parliament is proving too weak willed to defend us let us see whether an organised independent consumer boycott could cut that £318 billion and give them the kind of punishment beating they are trying to inflict on us.

    • ian wragg
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      I already boycott French and German products as do many of my friends. I think there will be a serious downturn in EU goods if they continue to behave like thugs.

    • Andy
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      You voted for a big bill. It is not my fault you did not realise. You read the side of the bus without reading the small print. Shame.

      It is not my fault Brexit is going wrong. I’ve always thought it was a bloody stupid idea – and so it is proving. You all voted for it. You really all need to start taking some responsibility for the inevitable consequences of your vote.

      Instead you are all whinging like spoiled children and blaming everyone else. Sorry guys but this is all down to you. Time to get out of your echo chamber.

      • Helena
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        I do not understand why people like Redwood who for years have criticised the EU for putting politics ahead of economics now seem surprised that the EU is putting politics ahead of economics. Is it stupidity or is it hypocrisy?

        Reply I argued before the referendum that we can leave without an agreement if they continue to do that. As we see, however,there are many on the continent who want to the EU to come to an agreement over access to our market with us.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        I voted to leave the EU with my eyes wide open, and just one of the smaller reasons was to avoid giving your friends in the EU ever increasing sums of money in perpetuity on top of the half trillion or so they had already had. I did not expect that we would leave the EU immediately even if we won the referendum, and nor did I expect that we would try to dodge honouring any legitimate financial obligations once a joint working party had agreed what they were and when payments should be made. I was aware that the EU might want sequential rather than parallel negotiations but I have to admit that I was surprised to see how easily Theresa May and David Davis fell in with that stupid idea. I suppose it was a misplaced effort to show the EU that we were still their good friends and wanted a harmonious and constructive future relationship – see Article 8 TEU – but of course that has just been thrown back into our faces by your side.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      You do not understand. There is no UK car industry. There is a japanese, Indian and German owned car industry located in Britain for reasons of convenience. Take the convenience away and the industry leaves. Of course, Morgan’s will stay..

      • NickC
        Posted November 20, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Rien, And with a WTO deal we can erect a tariff wall (eg) half of yours. Then EU built cars will become more expensive for us. Meanwhile rest of world cars, with a lower tariff, become cheaper. And UK built cars have no tariff. As you say, convenience . . . . . .

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted November 21, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          Right, EU cars would be more expensive (the Pound will take care of that anyway) then the question is: who would benefit? Certainly the Japanese. They would close their UK factories (lack of scale) , open new ones in Europe (Slovakia, as Nissan is already doing) and import UK spec cars from Japan or Thailand. The UK market is about twice as large as Australia NZ. There is no car industry there anymore. And expensive BMWs and Mercs sell very well.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted November 21, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

            Rien Huizer

            Your commercial ignorance on the finer details of business reality is quite an eye opener…I guess you have had little experience of running an international business?

  65. zorro
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    It is true that some people are still struggling to grasp the concept of the rebate. Our money goes out and the rebate for our contribution is paid back after that financial year ends. With regards to the EU’s shenanigans in the Ukraine (and before Yugoslavia), this gives evidence to the falsehood that the EU is only a peace promoting organisation. It is nothing of the sort. It is an ’empire aspirant’ which has fomented strife wherever it tries to place its political talons and all encompassing ‘four pillar’ spider’s web. Along with D Cameron’s threatening statement about stretching the EU beyond the Urals….


  66. Richard Taylor
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Interestingly one of the loudest voices against the 350 million is David Lammy.

    If you check the records in the Commons in September he explained why the EU were miffed as they were losing 12% of their budget.
    If you do the maths, 12% of this year’s EU budget is?
    You couldn’t make it up, seriously, within a rounding error of the 350 million 🙂

  67. Kiltish Kelt
    Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    USA Census 2012, 361,000 women and 23,000 men received alimony payments. That is, women got 94% of the money. Time for David Davis to stop wearing the trousers in the divorce settlement with the EU. It’ll bring a rosy glow to his cheeks so it will.

  68. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 20, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Dominic Grieve was in the Times on Saturday saying that by promoting division Brexiters were “Putin’s useful idiots”.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      I am not allowed to say what I think about him …

  69. Ron Olden
    Posted November 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Nigel Evans MP in his comments today is quite right about this.

    In any case, if there’s no Treaty obligation to pay anything, the Government has no legal powers to pay it.

    Neither the UK nor Europe exist in a state of anarchy. The UK’s obligations to the EU, and theirs’ to us, arise from legally binding Treaties.

    The Government isn’t legally empowered to just hand over £40 Billion, to any Tom Dick and Harry it likes. It will need to put the payment before Parliament, like it does any other public expenditure.

    This is a money dispute arising from an International Treaty, so the easiest way to resolve it, is to put it to arbitration at the World Trade Organisation.

    There’s also a perfectly normal procedure available in the UK Courts to determine legal obligations like this.

    It’s called ‘Declaratory Relief’ and works a bit like the Judicial Review they had last year about the triggering of Article 50. It’s quick, easy, and by legal standards, cheap.

    The applicant asks the Court to make a ‘Declaration’ stating what the legal obligations of the parties are, on any subject.

    The difficulty is however that one party (the EU) won’t say how much they want, and won’t tell anyone the legal basis for demanding or calculating it.

    If it went to arbitration at the WTO or to the Court, they would be forced to do so or their case would be thrown out.

  70. Freeborn John
    Posted November 20, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I am sick and tired of this useless Tory government caving in time and time again to the EU. Why can’t you learn to say No just once in your lives to their incessant demands. Theresa May and Hammond just have to go. How are we going to get out of the bad deal they are conceding? We will need a whole new campaign and years more effort to undo the mess of this incompetent government. They are paying 10s of billions for not even a promise by the EU to talk about a transitional deal that leaves us de-facto in the EU. Once in that transitional deal the EU will have no incentive to change anything.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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